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Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is a technique to assist you to live in the present moment, rather than regretting what may have happened in the pass or worrying about future events. Being present or attentive during a conversation, and or an activity can enhance the beauty and joy of the moment without judgment.

Meditation, yoga, dance or just sitting still are just a few activities that can assist you to become more mindful to the present moment. The goal is to connect to your present surroundings and acknowledge your emotions and feelings without labeling them as good or bad.

When was the last time you had a conversation with someone and you gave them your complete attention without engaging in another activity or thought during the conversation? We all have been programed to be ready with a response. It is very rare that we give our full attention to anything, even a short conversation.

It will take practice, but try to give your full attention to someone you are having a conversation with and notice how different it feels to be fully engaged and focused on the person you are listening to. This practice is not as easy as it seems.

There are structured mindfulness practices available to assist you in becoming more mindful. Check out the link below to listen to a few Mindful Moments, presented by Saybrook University to help you restore your well being during the day, and practice mindfulness.

References

Mindful Moments. https://www.saybrook.edu/mindfulness-moments/

Mindfulness, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mindfulness

Featured

World Mental Health Day

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It was World Mental Health Day, on October 10, 2021. Personally, I think we need a whole month to reset. There is so much going on, and if you do not take time to unplug you may feel over whelmed and depressed.

There are a few things you can do to ensure you stay balanced, and well. Get enough sleep, without adequate sleep your body can not regenerate, and you are cranky.

Enjoy nature, and go for a walk, or ride your bike.

Interact with others, some of us have been isolated for so long that we need some physical interaction with other adults. Don’t forget to wear your mask, if you have not been vaccinated.

Find an activity or craft that you enjoy. I exercise, and it is a great way to increase your stamina and well being. I have a friend who builds bird houses, and another who loves to work in the garden.

Take a drive and enjoy the scenery. I have been taking short week-end trips to re-energize, it will change your outlook. Hint: leave your laptop at home.

If these things do not work, you may need to talk to a professional, especially if you have had suicidal thoughts, or feeling depressed for extended periods.

Therapist are now online. Here are a few links for your review. I can not validate the services but these links can help you get you started. https://www.betterhelp.com/get-started/

https://www.top10.com/online-therapy

Stay well and unplug, your mental health depends on it!

Mask Up ……

Mask UP!
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I traveled to the west coast during the Thanksgiving holiday. My travels took me to Las Vegas, Los Angles (LA) and Seattle, to care for sick relatives and friends. I have been back home in Texas for a week, and noticed that Texan’s act like the pandemic is over. The majority are not wearing a mask.

I went to an event today and it was outside, and I could count the individuals that were wearing a mask. Every city I visited, the majority of the population wore mask, even in Las Vegas. In LA you were asked to produce your vaccination card if you were dining inside a restaurant. I had no problem with the process and I complied.

I can think of plenty of reasons why you should continue to wear your mask. A. The pandemic is not over.

B. There is a new variant.

C. Although you may be vaccinated it is a possibility that you still may be exposed to COVID-19, or a variant, and become ill. Nothing is 100%.

D. You do not know who is vaccinated and who is not.

E. Wearing a mask will be a great deterrent from the flu and or a cold that typically occurs during the winter months.

So do yourself a favor, mask up to stay well and be a part of the solution, and not the problem.

Toast to the Holiday Season!

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I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. It has been a challenging year for all. The pandemic has caused all of us to re-evaluate our relationships. If you are like me, you have determined what relationships are important to you.

Get vacinated, to ensure you do not pass the virus to your love ones during this holiday season. It is true that some individuals who have been vacinated have caught COVID. I have several friends that were vacinated and got sick, but they did not experience the severe symptoms associated with the COVID virus, and were not hospitalized. Keep this in mind and make good choices for you and your family.

Happy holidays and stay well!

Tai Chi

Tai Chi for Psoriatic Arthritis | Everyday Health

I took a tai chi class this week and it was interesting. It is 108 slow continuous rhythmic movements. It is moving meditation for the body. I am committed to learning the discipline and plan to add it to my exercise routine for additional strength and mental wellness.

According to Huston & McFarlane (2016) there is evidence that tai chi is good for a variety of illnesses including hypertension, heart failure, stress, arthritis, improves balance and sleep.

Find an exercise discipline to assist you to become your best self. We have to stay active and move as we age, or you become like a stiff rubber band.

Stay well and remember exercise maybe the key you are missing to increase your health and wellness.

Reference

Huston, P., & McFarland, B. (2016). Health benefits of tai chi: What is the evidence?. Canadian Family Physician, 62 (11), 881-890.


	

Veteran’s Day!

Thursday, November 11, 2021 was Veteran’s Day.

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Some people did not know it was Veteran’s Day. So many stopped and asked what was the occasion. The group turn out was low for the Houston Veteran’s Day Parade, excluding a few high school bands and other groups. The country has been so divided these days. It was nice to see positive camaraderie and common purpose for at least one day.

I hope you enjoyed the day off and thanked a Veteran for their service to the country.

Moderna Booster

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I got the Moderna Booster last week, and was feeling fine, except my injection site was extremely sore.  I could not touch my arm.  I did a few push ups daily after receiving the vaccine.   This action proved to be very effective in reducing the soreness.  

The same day, I talked to a young women in an establishment I frequent who told me she had been hospitalized and intubated (on a breathing machine) in early 2020 due to COVID.  She went on to say that she still did not have enough information, and did not know if she was going to get vaccinated because it was so new.  I thought about that. I said can you imagine how new the smallpox and the polio vaccines were when the they were administered? The technology is so much more advanced now, then it was years ago.

She wasn’t convinced, but you would think the being intubated would change your mind.  I guess she thought it wasn’t that bad? I digress!

Day two, my arm was not as sore but I was still very tired and experienced extreme fatigue.  I had never experienced that level of fatigue in my life.  I was cleaning and moving furniture and could not continue.  In fact every few minutes I had to stop and rest.  I gave up and went to bed.  During this time, I also experienced fever and muscle pain.

By day three, general soreness and weakness had subsided.  My energy had increased and I started  feeling better.  In the grant scheme of things, the previous 48 hours of discomfort was tolerable, considering the alternative of experiencing COVID and its residual effects on the body.

Please continue to wash your hands, wear a mask and get vaccinated. Winter is coming, and the virus COVID is not over. Stay well!

Please Vote!

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November 2nd is voting day in many states. All elections are local except every four years when a vote is caste for the President of the United States. Hopefully you have educated yourself about the voting process and I am talking to the choir.

Talk to your friends and family. This is not the time to doubt why you should participate in your civil duty. For more information about elections in your state and city, and to check your voting status go to https://www.vote411.org/.

H20

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Water is an essential need for all living beings. Many communities are experiencing contaminate water due to lead pipes, or shortages due to drought. I was in Hawaii this summer, and the locals complained about a drought on the island. That was surprising, but the waterfalls and creeks were barely flowing.

World wide two thirds of the world are experiencing water shortages. The issues in the USA are two fold. Droughts in the west and self imposed issues in other areas where there may be lead, or some other contaminates have been found in the water.

I have lived in several places that imposed water restrictions on their citizens. Lack of water impacts all life in a variety of ways, from consumption, cooking, bathing, growing food and basic body metabolism for all species. Unclean water is a threat to all humanity.

We have to influence the elected officials to put money in state and local principalities to ensure we all stay healthy and well.

Get involved, your well being may depend on it. Just keeping you informed!

Redistricting

The Texas Chronicle (2021) stated, Texas has not redrawn the state political lines in 10 years to conform to the census. According to the latest national census, Texas has added almost 4 million people from, 2010-2020. The majority of new residents are people of color. Redistricting should represent the majority in the state.

The Texas Tribute, (2021) concluded the Texas House Republicans have not followed the demographic trends that reflect an increase in Black, Hispanic, and the Asian population. Hispanics represent a large majority of the new residents in Texas. The Texas GOP have added one majority white district to both the Texas US House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate, with no change in Hispanic or majority representation. The Texas GOP claim the redistricting was done completed blind.

The Houston Chronicle (2021) reports, that the civil rights groups in Texas are accusing the Texas Republicans of intentionally racial gerrymandering, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act to stay in power. That is why federal law that protect voting rights are important. States have rights but apparently they can not trusted to ensure all citizens have equal representation if they are not part of the ruling class. Lets see what happens next.

Call your local representative and let your opinion be heard. Just keeping you informed.

References:

Harris, C and Goldenstein, T. (2021, Oct. 3) GOP redistricting p[ans give little consideration to voters of color. Houston Chronicle, 120. 355 pp. A1, A10.

Pollock, C., Astudillo, C., & Svitek, P. (2021, Sept. 30). Redistricting Texas. Texas Tribute. https://www.texastribune.org/2021/09/30/texas-house-redistricting-map/

National Voter Registration Day!

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During the last week of September, was National Voter Registration day: https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ The day called for those who are registered to vote, to check their voter registration status and for others that are not registered to vote to take time to register.

Hopefully you have become more aware of the political process, and want to be more engaged. Take some time to check your voter registration status, so you can participate in your civil duty and vote in both local and national elections. Monday, October 4, 2021 will be the last day to register to vote in Texas for the November, 2021 local state elections.

Local elections matter, and your vote matters. If you believe your vote does not matter, why are some states putting in more barriers for voters than for gun control? Please, do your part to ensure your voice is heard!

A Chance Meeting…

I was on the plane recently and sat in the middle seat in the first row between to two young man. I do not like that seat, because I have to put my purse in the overhead. I don’t know what compelled me to sit there, but never the less that was my seat for the next couple of hours, and it was a full flight.

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Halfway through the trip one of the young men, stood up and started pacing back and forth. He said he was short of breathe and felt very anxious and didn’t know what was wrong. I identified myself as a nurse and tried to assist him, by talking to him in a low quiet voice. The stewardess made him several ice packs for his neck and chest, and offered fluids and snacks.

Before the end of the flight he was resting his head on my shoulder, with no mask.  The stewardess asked me if I knew him.  I said no, and suddenly I was mortified that he may not be vaccinated, and I contemplated my next move.

I had on my regular blue mask, and whispered to him quietly “have you been vaccinated?” He replied “I can’t lie to you, I haven’t”.   I though oh, what am I going to do now? I beckoned the stewardess to give me my purse, so I could get my N95. I told her he had not been vaccinated. She said she was wondering that as well. I thought that would be devastating to catch COVID after helping someone on the plane! I asked him to put on his mask, and I put on my N95.

I told him he should get vaccinated,  even if he doesn’t get COVID he can pass the virus to his mother or grandmother. I went on to tell him if they have a preexisting condition it can be deadly. As the plane started to descend, he stated he felt better and thanked me. We parted after the plane landed. That was the last time I saw him.

Nurses and others in healthcare assist perfect strangers all the time. At times we put ourselves at risk, but it is part of the job and we do it automatically. Sometimes people are appreciative and sometimes they are not. We all wonder about random encounters that occur in our lives and why they happen. What would you have done?

This is day five and I am feeling fine, but will go get tested this week. I am hoping for the best.

Be careful and stay well! After all, we are all in this together.

Update, I was tested for the COVID virus on day six, and remain negative. What a relief!

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